Press Release

For Immediate Release


Special guests discuss their contributions to the emergency management field

#PrepTalkNYC {Click to listen to episode 25}

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February 5, 2019 — In recognition of Black History Month, the latest “Prep Talk” episode features Jerome Hatfield and Calvin Drayton, two African-American leaders in emergency management and public safety. Mr. Hatfield is the former Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region II administrator under the Obama Administration, while Mr. Drayton currently serves as the first deputy commissioner at NYC Emergency Management. The episode takes a close look at their professional journey and highlights their successes and challenges. Find out Mr. Hatfield and Mr. Drayton’s take on how such events as the 9/11 attacks and Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy have shaped emergency management, what evolving threats may affect the field in the years to come, and what message they have for individuals interested in the field. Get to know which leaders have been an inspiration in both men’s careers, and their take on the importance of inclusion in emergency management. You can listen to the latest episode on SoundCloud, iTunes, and Spreaker, and subscribe now to stay up-to-date on the latest episodes. 


New York City Emergency Management Department’s First Deputy Commissioner Calvin Drayton has served in the emergency management field for more than 30 years. He began his emergency management career as deputy director of disaster services at the American Red Cross in Greater New York. After four years, he joined FEMA as a community relations disaster assistance employee. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Drayton brought his expertise to the then New York City Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management. He continues to serve as the first deputy commissioner of the New York City Emergency Management Department, where he oversees all day-to-day operations and coordination with city, state, federal, non-profit and private sector partners. 

During his tenure with New York City Emergency Management, Mr. Drayton has transformed the agency from a team of about 20 people under the Mayor’s Office to an independent department with more than 200 employees. Starting as an emergency planner and responder, Mr. Drayton was promoted to deputy director of operations where he created the City’s initial multi-agency emergency response plans and framework to coordinate City, state, and federal agencies. On September 11, 2001, he was among the first emergency management personnel to respond to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Mr. Drayton supervised the agency’s operational response to the fire and collapse of the World Trade Center. In 2001, he also coordinated the operational response to interagency emergencies in New York City, including the anthrax attacks and the crash of American Airlines Flight 587 in Queens. In 2004, Mr. Drayton was instrumental in the development and implementation of New York City’s Citywide Incident Management System, which defines how the City manages emergencies, establishes authority, and roles and responsibilities.

In his role as first deputy commissioner, Mr. Drayton is leading the charge to implement a vision for the future of the emergency management profession. He has been spearheading the strategic efforts to evolve the department’s mission and core responsibilities in the coming years outlined in the release of the agency’s first Strategic Plan for 2017-2021. His strategic vision focuses on building partnerships, enhancing the City’s capabilities to analyze and share information during emergencies, and preparing for complex and emerging threats. Mr. Drayton also prioritizes new ways to reach the city’s diverse populations, including people with disabilities, and those with access and functional needs. In 2017, Mr. Drayton received the National Homeland Security Association Leadership Award for his leadership and service. 
Jerome Hatfield is a senior advisor for IEM’s homeland security and emergency management programs with over three decades of experience in homeland security, emergency management, and law enforcement. In 2013, Hatfield was appointed to serve as Regional Administrator for FEMA Region II, one of the largest FEMA regions with more than 500 full-time employees. As Regional Administrator, Mr. Hatfield was responsible for coordinating prevention, preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery programs for the 32 million residents located within New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the area’s tribal nations. He led the Hurricane Sandy Recovery effort in New York and New Jersey, offering innovative recovery solutions to maximize and streamline the delivery of federal assistance, and played a pivotal role in the New York/New Jersey Federal Leadership Resilience Collaborative. Mr. Hatfield advocated for resiliency throughout his tenure as Region II regional administrator, promoting it as a prevention, preparedness, and mitigation tool. He has also promoted crisis and consequence management to improve risk reduction through integration of law enforcement, public safety, and security professionals in the development of a bi-state safety/security strategy. Mr. Hatfield has acted as federal consequence management lead for National Special Security Events, including the Pope Francis visit, Super Bowl XLVIII, and United Nations general assemblies. He also presided as Chair of the Federal Security Committee, which oversees security efforts for the 1,000 plus federal tenants at the World Trade Center.

Prior to his position with FEMA at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Hatfield served as a member of the New Jersey State Police for 27 years, including as Lieutenant Colonel and Deputy Superintendent of Homeland Security. He commanded Special Operations and the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management and co-chaired the State Emergency Response Commission. Mr. Hatfield was the Governor’s Authorized Representative and the state coordinating officer for several presidentially declared disasters. 

From 2010 to 2012, Hatfield was Commission Chair of the Emergency Management Accreditation Program. As chair, he was responsible for conducting nationwide assessments of federal, state, territorial, and local emergency management and homeland security programs. Hatfield has served on FEMA’s National Advisory Council, where he chaired the Response and Recovery Subcommittee. He was also a member of the National Emergency Management Association, serving as regional vice president for Region II.

Mr. Hatfield currently provides subject matter expertise to the Executive Education Program of the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security. He is a Certified Public Manager and a veteran of the United States Army.

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